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‘Dating Naked’ Contestant’s Lawsuit: ‘Signed Agreements Aren’t Trumped by Oral Promises’

Dating-Naked

In reaction to the lawsuit, the defendants said that the former stripper was once comfortable with the show’s premise

…Nizewitz, 28, filed the complaint in New York Supreme Court last August, alleging she “suffered and continues to suffer severe extreme emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment” from having her private parts broadcast to a national audience.

“At a hearing last week, New York Supreme Court justice Anil Singh agreed with the defendants that Nizewitz had consented to be on Dating Naked with knowledge of what it would entail. The signed agreements aren’t trumped by the supposed oral promises. Singh read her ruling from the bench.”

In reaction to the lawsuit, the defendants including Lighthearted Entertainment and Firelight Entertainment said that the former stripper was once comfortable with the show’s premise. Before casting her, producers made her consent to being filmed in the nude and allow the footage to be telecast without restriction. “Unfettered nudity,” said the producers, “was a crucial aspect of the program.”

The plaintiff argued in turn that while she may have signed away consent, she also had an oral agreement with producers promising a blurring. She also contended that gross negligence couldn’t prospectively be waived. Read the rest of this entry »

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Notes on ‘American Sniper’

editor-commen-deskLike many movie goers I prefer to avoiding reading detailed reviews of movies before I see them, then enjoy reading a series of them right after. With the controversy surrounding American Sniper, it’s almost impossible to avoid exposure to what’s being said and written (and we’ve covered plenty of that controversy in the last few weeks) so it made even more of a challenge to stay away from reviews until I had an opportunity to see it myself.

Bradley Cooper American Sniper

A few hours ago, I finally saw American Sniper. I’ve only read a few reviews so far–and I plan add some of our own commentary soon–but this New Yorker review immediately struck me, because I prejudged the source. Admittedly unfair, but I don’t see the island of Manhattan as a place to expect anything but veiled score for Clint Eastwood, dislike of war films in general, and snarling distaste for this movie in particular. I’m happy to be completely wrong. Though it’s a short capsule double-movie review, given second-billing to Selma, all due credit to New Yorker film critic David Denby, for a positive, respectful, and insightful review of American Sniper.

american-sniper

Denby‘s first sentence nails it:

“Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper is both a devastating war movie and a devastating antiwar movie, a subdued celebration of a warrior’s skill and a sorrowful lament over his alienation and misery.”

The following comment is one of the most admiring things a critic can say about a filmmaker:

“Eastwood’s command of this material makes most directors look like beginners. As Kyle and his men ride through rubble-strewn Iraqi cities, smash down doors, and race up and down stairways, the camera records what it needs to fully dramatize a given event, and nothing more.”

And this characterization of Eastwood’s skill and talent as a director is perfectly summarized:

“There’s no waste, never a moment’s loss of concentration, definition, or speed. The general atmosphere of the cities, and the scattered life of the streets, gets packed into the action…” Read the rest of this entry »


Chinese Thriller Takes Top Berlin Prize

Diao Yinan (R) director of "Bai Ri Yan Huo" (Black Coal, Thin Ice) poses with his Golden Bear for Best Film next to actor Liao Fan (L) who poses with his Silver Bear for Best Actor during a news conference after the awards ceremony of the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Diao Yinan (R) director of “Bai Ri Yan Huo” (Black Coal, Thin Ice) poses with his Golden Bear for Best Film next to actor Liao Fan (L) who poses with his Silver Bear for Best Actor during a news conference after the awards ceremony of the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BERLIN (Reuters) – Michael Roddy and Alexandra Hudson report: Asian films were big winners at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday, led by gritty Chinese thriller “Bai Ri Yan Huo” (Black Coal, Thin Ice) about an overweight detective pursuing a serial killer which took the top Golden Bear prize.

“We are seeing Chinese cinema becoming more cinematically adept, not so overtly political. Chinese film makers are more confident, more open to the world”

— Scott Roxborough, Berlin bureau chief for the Hollywood Reporter

Liao Fan, who said he put on 20 kg (44 lb) and drank more alcohol to play the role of detective Zhang Zili, was named Best Actor.

“Chinese films are accepted more and more,” Diao Yinan, director of the winning film, told reporters.

“It seems every time we take them abroad, there is a greater enthusiasm for Chinese cinema. We hadn’t expected that, but film is global nowadays.”

[Now in paperback: 101 Essential Chinese Movies at Amazon] [Also, China on Screen: Cinema and Nation (Film and Culture Series) at Amazon]

Asked about censorship in China, Diao said: “Of course there is censorship, I believe that exists around the whole world, doesn’t it? When it comes to Chinese censorship, I think the fact we are here in Berlin shows our censors are becoming more open, although there are difficulties.”

Read the rest of this entry »